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An Introduction To Acid Reflux In Infant For New Parents

Mar 10, 2008
Acid reflux is not uncommon in babies. What parents need to do is to gather as much information on the condition in order to be able to deal with it properly. Get to know just how many babies are affected by acid reflux, why they get it, and how the condition progresses if left untreated.

What Are The Statistics?

Statistics on acid reflux in infant show that more than 50 percent of all infants have acid reflux during the first 2 to 3 months of life. Most of the time, infants experience the condition after feeding. In other cases however, an infant may experience reflux while crying, straining, or coughing.

On the average, infants with acid reflux are not necessarily irritated or unhappy. In fact, many infants who have acid reflux are healthy and happy. Almost all infants will no longer have acid reflux after 12 to 18 months. However, there are a few who may continue to show signs and symptoms of acid reflux after 18 months and so may require medical attention.

Why Do Infants Get Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux in general is often a natural occurrence. Our body will sometimes produce more acid in the stomach than needed, and this can be caused by several reasons. For instance, when we eat considerably more than usual in one sitting, our body will try to process the large amount of food we just consumed by secreting more acid. Acid may therefore build up in the stomach and cause us to regurgitate. Since babies tend to be lying down most of the time or fall asleep after feeding, some acid may end up in the esophagus.

What Happens If The Condition Isn't Treated?

The similarity between acid reflux in infant and in an adult is that, in both cases, the condition can worsen if left untreated. Acid reflux can continue to progress especially in infants that experience reflux after 18 months. Constant spitting and coughing often characterize common symptoms of infant acid reflux. Sometimes, your baby may also vomit, feed poorly and become irritated.

If your baby continues to experience acid reflux without treatment, accumulation of acid in the stomach may become so bad that he or she will start to develop more serious complications. Since acid reflux involves the acid and enzymes in the stomach and travels up to the esophagus, the areas around those parts of the body can also be negatively affected.

For one, the breathing problems may occur. Your baby may start having breathing problems because acid can travel to the esophagus and affect the areas around it such as the breast area. Furthermore, your baby may have a bloody stool and experience blood loss due to poor digestive function. A lot of pain can be caused from infant acid reflux, and your baby may continuously show signs of irritability and develop poorly (mainly because of poor feeding).

Your baby may keep spitting up or you may be unable to feed him or her. Many new parents actually experience this during the first few months of caring for their child. Now that you're more familiar with acid reflux in infant, observe if your baby is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned earlier and have him or her diagnosed by a doctor.
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